November 11, 2010

Very Different Little People

SI enjoying her blueberries.

The first question people usually ask me about the girls is, "How are they different from each other?"  Of course, as their mother I see thousands of differences a minute, but I understand how it is with babies.  Really, babies are pretty much babies, right?

DD learning about too much of a good thing.
At any rate, last night the I came home to a scene that completely illustrates for me how different the grublings are.  Their sitter dotes on them, permits them all sorts of allowances that I don't, and generally makes herself their favorite person in the world while I'm away.  This means that when I come home from my night class, what I expect and what I find are not always the same.  If I'm at home, bedtime is a fairly rigid 7:30.  Bath time happens after dinner, and dinner is eaten, regardless of whatever else grublings might want.

I arrived home 45 minutes after bedtime to find a darkened, TV flickering living room.  SI and our sitter, E, were leaning against the couch watching Hell's Kitchen.  DD was literally running circles around the living room.  Both girls were in their adorable footie pajamas.

SI the angel.
What is it about little kids, that lets them know the moment their bedtime has passed?  SI was obviously so pleased to be out of bed, she couldn't care less what she was doing.  DD knew she had a limited opportunity, and she was going to make the most of it- not a moment of rest while bedtime was postponed for DD!

They were both pleased to see me, no doubt, but their reactions to seeing me were very different.  SI was definitely fading, and she took my arrival as an indication that bedtime would be very soon.  It even seemed to be a bit of relief to her.  DD became so excited about my presence that all she could do was flail her arms and laugh.

I read a bedtime story, that DD refused to acknowledge.  As I read she ran progressively smaller circles, eventually collapsing on a pile of pillows.  SI sat on my lap and turned the pages happily.  Then the girls went into their cribs without complaint, and went directly to sleep.  They did not pass go.  They did not collect $200.

DD likes you!
It was a very pleasant, peaceful evening.  And they were so very themselves, it was lovely.  Yes, they were both perfectly happy and affectionate and adorable.  Yes, they were both cooperative.  But the similarities pretty much end there.  SI is usually my little zen master.  Even so, when she does get upset she has a temper to be reckoned with, and the only thing to make her feel better is a little alone time with a parent.  DD always runs between a 7 and a 10, she doesn't move slowly or cautiously, and she's pretty much always happy.  When she's not, it's a simple enough matter to distract her.  A different toy, a story, a cracker, any number of minor distraction techniques will help her forget that she was upset about something.

They're both very self contained children, SI is happy to look out the window for what feels like hours.  Even in the car, when she's offered a plethora of toys, mostly the scenery going by is what she wants to enjoy.  SI picks something to keep her interest and it keeps it- longer than I can generally pay attention to just about anything.  DD is very task oriented.  She'll start stacking blocks, or hammering away at her little tool bench, and as soon as she's decided she's done (and she is extremely decisive) she moves on to something else.  Something equally sweet and harmless.

Right now?  They eating ice cream cones (sans ice cream), and playing on the floor under the table.  SI is peeking out the window, DD moving from toy to toy to toy.

They've very different little people.  And they're becoming more like people I want to know every day.

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